List two tests for experimentally distinguishing between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid and describe how these tests are performed. 3
The two tests for experimentally distinguishing between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid are as follows:
(i) Litmus test: Ethanol doesn’t changes the color on any of the litmus solution which proves that Ethanol is a neutral compound. When blue litmus solution turns red on addition of the organic compound proves that the compound is acidic in nature and hence it is Ethanoic acid. When some blue litmus solution is added to the organic compound (to be tested), if the blue litmus solution turns red; it shows that the organic compound is acidic and hence it is ethanoic acid.
(ii) Reaction with sodium carbonate: If there is no reaction on addition of a pinch of sodium carbonate in the compound, then the compound is Ethanol and if carbon dioxide gas is evolved along with the brisk effervescence, then the organic compound is Ethanoic acid.